An Israel Travel Adventure: 2017

An Israel Travel Adventure: Touching the Spirit & Soul of Israel, 2.0
October 15 – 27, 2017

Sponsored by: Community Scholar Program, Congregation B’nai Israel & Temple Beth El of South Orange County
Itinerary crafted by Arie Katz, Rabbi Elie Spitz and Rabbi Kvod Wieder
Travel company – Makor Educational Journey –

Sign up to follow. Please contact Rabbi Spitz or Arie Katz for more information.

 If you dig beneath the surface of Israeli life you will find a new spirit alive in the country.  It is the spirit of young and old, drawing on ancient roots and a very Israeli willingness to improvise, daring to re-invent what it means to be Jewish in the land of Israel.  Join us as we set off on a Fall 2017 adventure of all five senses that will take us back to the time of Abraham and catapult us forward into the 21st Century. We will meet poets and politicians, artists and musicians, archeologists and writers, kabbalists and theologians, thought leaders and community activists, who are creating a new reality in our ancient homeland.  This unique overseas adventure is brought to you by Community Scholar Program, Congregation B’nai Israel of Tustin and Temple Beth El of South Orange County in co-sponsorship with Jewish Foundation of Orange County. Group Leaders: Arie Katz, Rabbi Elie Spitz and Rabbi Kvod Wieder.

Some highlights:

  • Welcome to Jerusalem dinner at Siebenberg House with founder Theo Siebenberg and Isaiah Gafni, President of the Shalem College
  • Explore the Old City of Jerusalem—the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter.  See the latest archaeological finds, get a feel for the diversity of this amazing city, meet some of the people who make their lives in this intense center of Jerusalem
  • Meals with Israeli cultural icons: Etgar Keret, Kobi Oz, Agi Mishol
  • Meet with Rami Nazzal, local journalist and guide, for a dialogue and tour of the streets of the city of Bethlehem
  • Study session in Efrat with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Founder and Dean of the Ohr Torah Stone Institutions, a network of high schools, colleges, and graduate programs in the United States and Israel
  •  Challenge, Question, Engage and Enlighten: Text study with Bina, the Secular Yeshiva, which represents the Secular Jewish Renaissance and Yahadut Hevratit (Jewish Social Activism) in Israel
  •  Israel as a Jewish-Democratic state – a Vision and a Challenge, dialogue with Dr. Ruth Calderon, former member of Knesset and the founder of ALMA and currently a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute
  • Breakfast with Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum: “Creating Community in a Messy World.”
  • Lunch with artist Andi Arnovitz at her Baka home
  • Late night art tour in Machaneh Yehudah
  • Late night bike-ride in the Old City
  • Reading Yochi Brandes with Yochi Brandes—an afternoon salon exploring her journey from the world of Ultra-Orthodoxy to one of Israel’s best known writers, who takes traditional Bible and Jewish themes and relates them to contemporary life
  • Guided walk along Rothschild Blvd. from the Founders’ Memorial outside Independence Hall to the Habima Theater, with landscape architect Dr. Gideon Sarig who re-designed the four large boulevards of Tel Aviv
  • Late Night Tel Avi Time Crime Tour – What’s the connection between urban planning and crime Living with the Other?
  • Tel Aviv as a Jewish City, Tel Aviv as an Israeli City…Tel Aviv as a City of the World, with scholar Rachel Korazim at her home in Jaffa
  • A Tel Aviv Culinary Adventure—embark on a food selection and buying crawl through the Carmel Market, followed by a Tel Aviv cooking workshop and concluding with lunch with mother and daughter chefs, Sari and Michal Ansky
  • Small group visits to artists’ studios around Tel Aviv, exploring how they translate their relationship to Judaism and Jewish life into their art
  • Holon—the City of Museums—for a glimpse at how the vision of one man, Mayor Motti Sasson, changed a city, including a visit to the Israeli Museum of Design, the Cartoon Museum, the Story Gardens, and a dialogue with Motti Sasson
  • In what is considered the worst neighborhood in Israel meet a woman who is considered by many to be one of the most inspiring people in the country—Shirin Natour Hafi, Principal of the Arabic High School of Lod. Hear the story of this courageous woman who, in her spare time, volunteers to teach Hebrew Literature at religious high schools in Jerusalem! Meet kids who are attending a high school that has gone from a 9% matriculation rate to 40% in five years
  • Guided visit through Zippori, a Roman/Jewish city from almost 2000 years ago and the site of the codification of the Mishna
  • Guided visit through Tzfat—the alleyways, ancient synagogues, market, and artist colony, using the stories of the mystics as a guide
  • Lunch and wine tasting at Jezreel Winery, with Haviva Ner-David, 45, a writer and was one of the first women ordained as an Orthodox rabbi and Jacob Ner-David, an intense 46-year-old who meditates and runs marathons for pleasure, is a serial entrepreneur and investor who has established the boutique winery
  • Visit to Amuka in the Biriya Forest and the grave of Yonatan Ben Uziel, sage of the Mishna, for a window into the world of Kivrei Tzadikim—Graves of the Righteous
  • Dinner in Rosh Pinah with gourmet chef Ronni Bar El and his wife, artist Genine Bar El
  • Take in the view of Mt. Gilboa listening to the Bible’s dramatic description of the battle fought here between the Israelites and the Philistines, with special attention to the story of Israel’s first king, King Saul, and his sons